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Dear Las Sendas Family,  

I'm delighted to be a part of the Las Sendas community! It has been a dream to be able to share, teach, and learn with the qualified staff and students at Las Sendas. I'm a graduate of Arizona State University. I've been working for Mesa Public Schools since 2003 and have always taught 5th grade. I love the fifth grade curriculum and the personalities of fifth graders!

On a personal note, I have been married to my husband Ted for thirty-four years, and we have two beautiful daughters. Both of my children attended Mesa Public Schools and received wonderful educations. My oldest daughter Sara graduated from law school in May 2010 and is currently working as a tax attorney in Texas; Her husband Kyle is also an attorney and they are currently involved in creating software for attorneys. My youngest daughter Jillian lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Sean.  Jillian is a doctor and is completing her residency. Jillian was married in June 2011 to my son-in-law Sean. Sean is a graphic designer, photographer, and musician and is currently employed with Nike.

Lastly, I love being a teacher! I'm in the classroom because of a promise to my second grade teacher. It all began when I was placed in Mrs. Zonski's second grade class. I was a young second grader due to my November birthday. I was the only student that couldn't read in our class. I was mortified beyond belief when she would ask me to read.  Well, with lots of care and time, Mrs. Zonski taught me to read. She encouraged me and devoted endless lunch hours and recess breaks helping me learn my phonics and how to read. She motivated me, helped me set goals, and taught me to dream. I still remember being so proud of reading that first Dick and Jane book! Years later, I went back to Mrs. Zonski, and asked how I could repay her for teaching me. Her comment was, "Teach someone else and pay it forward at some point in your life."  It took me years to get into the classroom, but I am paying it back slowly, a few children at a time. Not only am I teaching children to learn, I am trying to teach them to love learning! My only regret is that Mrs. Zonski isn't alive to see me teaching others. I know that she would be ecstatic! I smile when I think of her and how she loved and nurtured me that year. That little piece of time with that special teacher changed my life forever. 

Thank you for the opportunity of teaching your child. For that, I am grateful and I'm looking forward to a fabulous first year at Las Sendas Elementary!

Yours truly,

Deb Junkes